Overall Satisfaction with NetFortris (formerly Fonality)
We are using NetFortris Fonality on-premise phone servers at a client office of about 40 users. This is backed by a traditional copper PRI to support the voice needs of a small not for profit foundation. We had previously had 3 Fonality servers at multiple satellite offices, one with SIP trunks, another with a PRI, that were linked for intra-office calling.
- The on-premise server/seat licenses are relatively inexpensive.
- The configuration interface is not too difficult to navigate.
- The sales staff is very helpful and not at all overbearing or pushy.
- Many of these issues might be due to the age of the on-premise server we are using. The config interface can be unbearably slow.
- Creating call flows/phone trees is slow and inflexible.
- When we used NetFortris with SIP providers, service was spotty and troubleshooting was difficult -- much of the fault here lies with the SIP providers, but getting important troubleshooting info from NetFortris/the server was next to impossible.
- Support in general is slow and unhelpful.
- Server hardware is a Dell Optiplex tower with little in the way of redundancy. They do offer more traditional rack servers as well, but I can't speak to what sort of configuration they deploy with those.
As stated, I inherited the Fonality on-premise server(s) I support. The organization's principals have requested staying with this system due to its low cost of ownership. Comparing to other on-premise systems, such as a generic Asterisk system, it offers some support (although I would probably choose community-based Asterisk support over the paid NetFortris support). Not listed, I do also have experience with GrandStream UCM IP PBX, which would be my go-to for an out of the box on-premise IP PBX, due to its low cost and simplicity. Overall though, I prefer cloud-hosted voice such as Vonage Business Cloud or RingCentral over any on-premise solution due to their simplicity, support, and low costs.
For an on-premise IP phone system, if price is your top concern and your needs are relatively simple, NetFortris definitely bears consideration. I inherited the systems we have in use at one client site, and I will say that they have been running reliably once I worked out some issues that went unaddressed in the original setup of the system (VLANs, DHCP options, poor SIP provider choices, faulty T1 card). If you have competent IT staff, setting up and keeping the server running is trivial (it is asterisk based). If you will need lots of hand-holding, my experience with their support staff has been less than stellar.